Pantomime Enables Shared VR

Before CES, we wrote about a company called Pantomime (AR and VR Due at CES 2016), which claims to add interactivity to VR without using an extra hardware. Thanks to Mark Fihn’s 3rd Dimension newsletter, we now know a little more about it.

Pantomime uses its own patented software, which enables smartphones and tablets to be used as both ‘windows’ into virtual worlds, and ‘paddles’ for interaction. Other users of the shared platform can see these virtual versions of these devices as they move balls, knock over dominos and more.

As well as the phones and tablets, users of Pantomime’s software can see each others’ virtual heads and hands. Users with only a smartphone or tablet (and no HMD) can also see and be seen by other users.

The system works by leveraging users’ own devices, including their motion sensors, screens and wireless networks. iOS, Mac, Android and Windows versions are available.

Fihn lists some typical use cases, such as a single tablet or phone, used as both an interactive viewer and controller in virtual worlds; a head-mounted display linked to a handheld mobile device, such as the Gear VR and iPhone; two or more mobile devices in cooperative or competitive play; and a PC hosting mobile devices as controllers.

Beta testers can now use the Pantomime Playground for Mobile VR software on Samsung’s Gear VR headset. Versions will also also be available for ‘bring your own display’ Google Cardboard devices in Q2. Android, iOS, Mac and Windows apps are also available now.